Contemporary Writers Series Welcomes Joy Harjo

March 21, 2023
Joy Harjo

Buffalo, NY – The Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series will welcome internationally renowned writer and performer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Joy Harjo to campus on Tuesday, April 18.  The event takes place at 7:00 p.m. in the Montante Cultural Center; doors open at 6:30 p.m. and seating is first-come, first-served.  A question-and-answer session and reception will follow the reading.  (Photo by Karen Kuehn)

Harjo served three terms as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States from 2019-2022, the first Native writer so honored.  She is the author of 10 books of poetry, most recently Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light: Fifty Poems for Fifty Years, several plays and children’s books, and two memoirs, Crazy Brave and Poet Warrior.

Harjo received Yale’s 2023 Bollingen Prize for American Poetry.  She is also a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the Ruth Lily Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation, the Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship.  

Harjo is not only a prolific writer but a musician and performer.  She has produced seven award-winning music albums including her newest I Pray for My Enemies.  

Harjo currently serves as chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, chair of the Board of Directors for the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, and is the first Artist-in-Residence for Tulsa’s Bob Dylan Center. 

Founded with a grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation and continued through the Peter Canisius Distinguished Teaching Professorship Program, the Contemporary Writers Series is generously supported today by the Hassett, Scoma and Lowery Endowments and with the cooperation of The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Just Buffalo Literary Center, the Center for Urban Education and Talking Leaves Books.

For more information or to watch a livestream of the event, contact Mick Cochrane, professor of English and coordinator of the Contemporary Writers Series, at 716.888.2662 or @email.  
One of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.